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Data visualization jobs: What are they, and what skills do you need for them?

Data visualization jobs: What are they, and what skills do you need for them?

As technology advances, the need for various IT-related jobs has increased substantially. If you're interested in analyzing data and creating visuals to represent this data, then a career in data visualization might be right for you. However, to pursue a job opportunity in this relatively new field, you'll need to know what it takes to succeed and what jobs are available in this dynamic industry. Learn what data visualization is, the skills you'll need for different jobs you can pursue in this field, and what data visualization jobs exist to help you determine whether any of them suit your career ambitions and experience.

What is data visualization?

Data visualization involves analyzing a business's data and putting that information into a visual format. Data visualizations allow individuals such as company leaders and external stakeholders to easily understand key metrics of a business, such as profits and losses, product sales, projected business growth, and other factors. Some of the visual aids you might create for your data visualizations include:

  • Charts
  • Graphs
  • Tables
  • Infographics

Many businesses today are collecting massive amounts of customer data, and these companies don't always understand how to interpret the information they're gathering or put it to use. Data visualization jobs require people who can understand complex data and break down that data into more understandable formats. This job encompasses many skills, from technological and problem-solving to customer service. Companies hire data visualization experts to help them use their data to make high-level decisions and advance their business goals and objectives.

Skills for data visualization jobs

Many skills are essential for those who collect and interpret data and use it to create easy-to-understand visual aids for a company. Both hard and soft skills come into play for the roles associated with data visualization jobs. Some of the soft skills you may need include the following:

  • Analytics: This skill can help you analyze a business's data so that you can use it to create charts, graphs, and other visual aids.
  • Problem-solving: With this skill, you'll be able to help company managers and leaders examine complex problems you may notice by analyzing or retrieving data.
  • Interpersonal skills: Working with others is essential for data visualization jobs, as these roles often require teamwork.

The following areas represent some of the hard skills that companies will look for when they're reviewing resumes for data visualization jobs:

  • Knowledge of computer programs: You'll need to be familiar with various standard computer programs in the company's industry.
  • Knowledge of programming languages: It's essential to have a working knowledge of the major programming languages to succeed in this role.
  • Knowledge of various software: When you need to create visuals to chart trends or patterns you notice from the data you obtain, you'll likely work with different types of software. Understanding how to work with this software to perform your job is vital.

"Depending on your skills, education level, and interests, you can find many data visualization jobs in various industries."

Data visualization jobs

You can find many data visualization jobs in various industries depending on your skills, education level, and interests. The following jobs and their average salaries can help you discover the data visualization job opportunities that will await you in this rapidly growing career field:

Data analytics manager

Average salary: $78.35 per hour

As a data analytics manager, your responsibilities include analyzing and interpreting data and managing a team of other data analysts who work under your supervision. You'll need to ensure that your team members complete all data collection on time and that the visual models they create are easy to interpret for others, such as a board of directors, can understand. You may need to be the one who presents the data to others and creates reports that explain your team's work and accomplishments to company and business leaders.

Data engineer

Average salary: $52.25 per hour

Data engineers monitor data pipelines. Their duties entail ensuring that data transfers from one source to another without a hitch, and they typically work with multiple information sources. If they encounter problems, they'll need to have the ability to act quickly to resolve any issues. A data engineer may also need to create a company's data storage pipeline, which often requires using various data visualization tools.

Data scientist

Average salary: $52.25 per hour

While the role of a data scientist will vary based on the company and industry, this job requires the ability to recognize patterns and trends within big data sets. With this information, a data scientist can help a business make predictions about its future by compiling the data into visual aids that make the figures easier to understand. Data scientists then help to interpret this data so that a company can assess its business growth and increase profits for its products and services. Knowledge of computer languages, artificial intelligence, and machine learning will help you advance your career prospects in this role.

Data specialist

Average salary: $27.75 per hour

Companies hire data specialists to convert data into different formats so individuals can share it across platforms, with various clients, and their devices. Data specialists often take the visuals created using data and put them in a digital format. This type of work ensures that anyone in a company can access the visual aids for meetings or creating reports. You may need to be familiar with international data formats to ensure that those who work in other countries can access the necessary information.

Business intelligence analyst

Average salary: $46.10 per hour

In a business intelligence analyst role, you'll need skills in communication and collaboration. This job requires you to analyze a company's performance from within and compare it to similar companies in the same industry. You may also need to provide training based on your findings. To do this, you'll need to create visualization tools to help you determine strategies, make recommendations, and present them to managers and other company leaders. BI analysts need to know specialized software that can help them spot market trends and support action items related to these trends by using data. 

Business intelligence developer

Average salary: $58.20 per hour

Business intelligence developers create the software BI analysts use to read and interpret data. These professionals must ensure that the software is secure and that it can handle the amount of data storage the company requires. Engineering the software to automate the data collection process and help create visualizations is an integral part of a BI developer's job.

Business systems analyst

Average salary: $49.15 per hour

Working as a business systems analyst requires the ability to analyze a business's data to help a company's leaders determine where they can improve productivity and efficiency. Those employed as business systems analysts need to take the information they collect and create reports and budgets. Collaboration and communication skills are necessary, as business systems analysts must work with every department within a company. Using visualizations, these professionals can make their research and information presentation easy to understand and interpret.

If any of these data visualization jobs appeal to you, upload your resume to CareerBuilder so employers can contact you about any related open positions in their companies. Those with the right skills, knowledge, and education can find a job they love that's both rewarding and fulfilling. Get on the right track to start working in a job you love.

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